In my last blog post, I reproduced a copy of an article from the Argus newspaper of September 29th, 1932 about the Cora Lynn Cheese Factory. I thought it would be interesting to find out more about Cheese and Butter Factories in the Casey Cardinia area, as dairying has played an important role in the life and the economy of the area since European settlement. Private factories, which processed milk, were erected in the mid 1800s, one of the earliest was a cheese factory constructed in the 1860s by James Buchanan, at his farm Ardblair in
The property became part of a Soldier Settlement sub-division and as the tenants did not take up the option to purchase the property it reverted to the Crown. It was restored by the City of Berwick and officially opened on October 20th, 1985 as a "Centre for Cultural and Artistic Development" and can be hired out for functions and exhibitions.
Another private cheese factory was constructed in 1892 by John Henry Smethurst on his property Glen Avis in Yannathan (pictured below). Smethurst was a pioneer in the use of machines. His dairy had a four horse-power boiler and a three horse-power Tangye engine which worked a 90 gallon separator and 200lb butter churn. He milked 75 cows at Yannathan and also had another cheese factory on his other property
, at Athlone, where he milked 260 cows. Lang Lang Park
In 1888 the Victorian Parliament allocated money to establish creameries, cheese and butter factories in the Colony and in the 1890s there were over 140 of these factories inThis is a photograph of the Smethurst property, Glen Avis, in Yannathan, taken from Buln Buln : a history of the Shire of Buln Buln by Graeme Butler (Shire of Buln Buln, 1979). It is now, unfortunately, out of print, but if you have an interest in the area it worth trying to track down a copy from a library or a second hand book dealer. Yannathan was part of the Shire of Buln Buln until 1893 when it was annexed by the Shire of Cranbourne. The book has an interesting chapter on dairying, where I found the information on Smethurst.
, including some in the Casey Cardinia and we will find out more about these in part two and three. Victoria